Manchester United might have confirmed starting XI for Europa League Final in win over Wolves

The main talking points after Man Utd defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 in the Premier League fixture on Sunday. Van de Beek could soon p...

The main talking points after Man Utd defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 in the Premier League fixture on Sunday.


Van de Beek could soon peak

There is no hiding the fact it has been a poor debut season for Donny van de Beek in Manchester, but on the final day of the season he gave a glimpse of the untapped potential which is still yet to be unleashed.

He has not been helped by the fact he missed out on a 'proper' pre-season following his arrival from Ajax, coupled with the packed fixture schedule which has seen little opportunity for him to adapt to the new tactical responsibility Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants from him in this Manchester United side.

Released from the shadows of Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes the Dutchman excelled at Molineux with a dynamic display which saw him link-up nicely with his teammates while also driving at the Wolves defence, certainly signs of promise for the months ahead.

A second-season can often be the undoing of new arrivals to the Premier League, but for Van de Beek it could well be the making of him in this United side.

A late fitness test for Harry Maguire might be the only mitigating factor ahead of the Europa League Final on Wednesday night, but other than that Solskjaer should already have his line up in mind.

The final day of the season is traditionally an opportunity for change and it is one which Solskjaer made the most of against Wolves on Sunday afternoon with ten changes for an effectively dead-rubber tie.

David de Gea is set to start in Gdansk in two days times while the back-four will be as strong as possible, Bailly's new contract suggests he is probably the partner for Victor Lindelof if the club captain does not pass a late fitness test.

Fred and Scott McTominay are the safe, in underwhelming bet in midfield, Fernandes is hardly worth a mention given he is the talisman of this side. Up front it will likely be Pogba on the left with Rashford on the right and Cavani through the middle.

Even before the match at Wolves on the final day it seemed pretty obvious how United would line up for the biggest match of their season. Now it's just up to Villarreal to try and stop them.

Fluid forward line

During his first pre-season at the club Solskjaer emphasised a desire to see United adopt a fluid forward line with no player particularly stuck in one role. It's clear to see he still wants to have that option.

Of course that initial change came ahead of Romelu Lukaku's inevitable departure from the club and is perhaps not as viable when Edinson Cavani is on the pitch.

Yet in certain matches fluidity will be more important than a static focal point in the centre, Solskjaer certainly has players capable of fulfilling such a tactical approach within his first-team squad.

A front three of Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial is still the best at doing that, however there might now be the option of adding Amad, Anthony Elanga and Daniel James into that mix.

A look to the future

Another key component of Solskjaer's philosophy has been his inclusion of youth talents and late on against Wolves we had the opportunity to see another two stars of the future.

Hannibal Mejbri would have made his debut earlier in the year had it not been for an unfortunate shoulder injury when in action for the U23s, while he was ineligible to play in the Europa League having not been with the club long enough to be registered on the B-List.

His long-awaited debut is another exciting tease ahead of next season with the former AS Monaco teenager a player who could be set for a more regular squad role if he manages to take his chance in pre-season.

Shola Shoretire and Hannibal Mejbri come on for United vs Wolves

In contrast there were only a few seconds for Will Fish as the young centre-back came onto the pitch deep into stoppage time, but his late cameo made him the 16th academy graduate to make a senior debut since Solskjaer took charge as caretaker boss.

The future is bright, the future is red.

Unbeaten away record

The fact United were able to make ten changes for the match against Wolves not only highlights their enviable squad depth, but also perhaps hints that Solskjaer wasn't too fixated on going the entire Premier League season without an away defeat.

His focus is firmly on winning the Europa League on Wednesday night, but the fact United managed to make history with a second-string selection is worthy reward for the squad he has assembled in two-and-a-half years.

No matter what happens later this week nobody will be able to take away the fact United are now just the fourth side to remain unbeaten away from home across an entire English top-flight campaign.

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